Haitian singer Mikaben will be buried on November 6 in Florida

Ten days after the death of Michael Benjamin, alias Mikaben, the tributes continue. The Haitian singer died during the concert of the group Carimi on the stage of the Accor Arena on October 15, 2022 following a heart attack at the age of 41.

The image is moving. To after dark, a woman speaks in front of a camera. Rimless glasses, gray hair, calm voice, she speaks with gravity, interspersing her sentences with short silences. To her left, dressed in white like her, stunned by sadness, her husband is stunned, staring into space.

He is Lionel Benjamin, Mikaben’s father. A university professor but also an actor and singer, he is nicknamed the “Haitian Santa Claus”. It is a glory of music in his country. She is Roseline Benjamin, Mikaben’s mother. Usually erased behind the two family celebrities, she comes out of the shadows to speak and thank her son’s fans for their support.

Mike is not dead. Mika is not dead because we are here. He composed his first song on December 24 and already we felt in his music his great sorrow to see that every Haitian did not have the chance and the opportunity to live a normal life.

Roseline Benjamin, Mikaben’s mother

Michael Banjamin, his mother and father

Michael Banjamin alongside his mother and father.

©Mag Haiti

The death of Mikaben has aroused immense emotion in his country. The footballer Jonel Désiré, centerpiece of the Haitian selection, requests that a statue be erected in Port-au-Prince in honor of the singer. It would be a fair recognition “for all he has brought to the music industry.

In Port au Prince, voices are raised to link Mikaben’s tragic death to the unstable situation in the country. Insecurity is growing in Haiti. It ends in repeated kidnappings. Doctor, mechanic, diplomat, business manager, religious, student: the armed gangs operate with impunity and release their hostages only against large ransoms.

On Tuesday, October 18, 2022, one hostage among many others was released. This is Frédérick Dupoux, one of Mikaben’s closest cousins. He had been kidnapped in Frères, in the commune of Pétion-Ville, three days before the concert at the Accor Arena. For artist Joseph Zenny, the kidnapping of one in Haiti and the heart attack of the other in Paris are linked.

They had kidnapped his cousin three days ago. Mikaben has not slept. He was stressed. His cousin was like his brother. He was godfather to one of Mikaben’s children. He was her best man. Mikaben was in no condition to go on stage. He died doing his job, for us, for Haiti, with the national flag around his neck.

Joseph Zenny, Haitian artist

Tribute to Mikaben

Tribute to Mikaben in Montreal (Canada).

©Ticket magazine

Tribute to Mikaben

Tribute to Mikaben in London (October 23, 2022).

©Ticket magazine

The death of Mikaben has also aroused immense emotion in the Haitian diaspora and beyond. On Sunday October 23, 2022, a special evening was organized in London. Two days earlier, a tribute was also paid to the singer in Montreal as well as in Miami where the Caribbean Cultural Festival was held.

In France, Mikaben fans also gathered, two days after the tragedy, in front of the Accor Arena, with wreaths of flowers and candles, around members of the Carimi group, Mickael Guirand and Richard Cavé. Between speeches and applause, they shared their dismay and their pain.

Mikaben’s body is still in Paris. She will soon be sent to Florida where the funeral will take place on November 6, 2022. His wife Vanessa Benjamin, pregnant with their third child, also intends to perpetuate the singer’s commitment to education and Haitian youth.

Mikaben and his wife

Mikaben and his wife expecting their 2nd child.

©Private collection

With his Ti Souf Foundation, Mikaben helped schools in difficulty to equip themselves and pay their teachers. saying to themselves “concerned about the vulnerable situation of children and families, the lungs of Haitian society”, he had launched a fundraising campaign. The operation therefore continues.

Link to donate: https://gofund.me/5bdd9062

Mikaben in a school

Mikaben wanted to help Haitian schools.


Mikaben wanted to help Haitian schools

Mikaben wanted to help Haitian schools.

©Private collection

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